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Fade to Black
Author: BobR    Date: 01/18/2012 14:03:13

For those that haven't heard, today is blackout day. To protest two bills in Congress (mainly SOPA, but also PIPA), several large websites are "going dark" today. They include Google and Wikipedia, among others. Here at 4F, we decided it was more important to get the message out as much as possible. We know how small we are; "going black" for us would not have made any impact. People who don't follow politics, however, DO use Google and the Wiki, and will notice the message.

So what is going on exactly? What is the problem with the "Stop Online Piracy Act"? As a writer and songwriter, I know I would be upset if someone stole my creative work and didn't pay for it. Musicians, songwriters, and filmmakers deserve to get paid for their work, right?

The problem is that the bill goes too far. Here is the problem summarized:
There are a number of key differences, however. Unlike SOPA, PIPA lacks a provision that requires search engines (like Google and Bing) to remove a “foreign infringing site” from their indexes. This provision in SOPA is one of the most highly criticized.

PIPA also contains provisions that require greater court intervention to go after an accused website than SOPA does. But it does not contain any provisions that would penalize copyright holders for misrepresenting the alleged infringing activities of an accused website — a potentially disastrous omission for innocent sites put through the PIPA ringer. SOPA does contain a provision that penalizes those copyright holders who “knowingly materially misrepresent” the alleged infringement of a website by making them “liable for damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the person injured by such misrepresentation as a result of the misrepresentation.”
[..]
Also included in both bills is an anti-circumvention provision, which would make it illegal to inform users how to access blocked sites. According to First Amendment expert Marvin Ammori, a Legal Fellow with the New America Foundation Open Technology Initiative and an Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet & Society, this provision could be interpreted to require any website that features user-generated content (think Facebook, Reddit, or YouTube) to make sure that no circumvention information has been posted to their site, or risk legal action.

Another provision highly cited by critics is the “vigilante” part of SOPA/PIPA, which allows ISPs to voluntarily block access to certain foreign websites, “in good faith,” if they have “credible evidence” that these sites are devoted to illegally distributing copyrighted material. Both SOPA and PIPA give immunity to ISPs who take voluntary action against websites that are believed — but not proven — to be dedicated to the illegal distribution of intellectual property. Because of this, critics say the potential to abuse this power is unconscionable.

Here is another take on how it would affect you:
An analysis (PDF) of Protect IP prepared by five Internet researchers this spring lists potential security problems. Among them: it's "incompatible" with DNSSEC, innocent Web sites will be swept in as "collateral damage," and the blacklist can be bypassed by using the numeric Internet address of a Web site. The [IP] address for CNET.com, for instance, is currently 64.30.224.118.
[..]
A little-noticed portion of the proposed law, which CNET highlighted in an article, goes further than Protect IP and could require Internet providers to monitor customers' traffic and block Web sites suspected of copyright infringement.

"It would cover IP blocking," says Markham Erickson, head of NetCoalition, whose members include Amazon.com, Google, eBay, and Yahoo. "I think it contemplates deep packet inspection" as well, he said.
[..]
Deep packet inspection, meaning forcing an Internet provider to intercept and analyze customers' Web traffic, is the only way to block access to specific URLs.

There has been a lot of noise being generated prevent the passage of either of these bills. The noise finally breached the thick walls of the White House; President Obama has released a statement indicating that the bills - while good in theory - are too heavy-handed in application.

Packet-sniffing is incredibly expensive in terms of performance, so this could slow down the entire internet. Someone could report this site as being an offender, and we would be shut down and have to defend ourselves in court to get "unfiltered". We could get blocked because our IP address is right next to another one.

Despite all of the dense techno-jargon involved, this is a BIG issue that affects all of us (regardless of political persuasion) and it is incumbent on us to learn about it and let our representatives know what we think. Otherwise, the day may come when web sites we take for granted are swept down into the black abyss along with the rogue sites being targeted.

79 comments (Latest Comment: 01/19/2012 13:35:12 by wickedpam)
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Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:07:02
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 14:29:43
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:30:41
A fantabulous article from Salon about SOPA.

[Etsy] has over 800,000 active “shops”… — far too many for Etsy to monitor manually. Further, because of the eclectic nature of goods listed, it’s difficult to technically filter through the objects listed.

All that means that it’s not feasible for Etsy to proactively prevent listings that may be perceived to violate US copyright or trademark law. That’s a problem, because under SOPA, anybody who is a “holder of an intellectual property right harmed by the activities” of even a portion of the site, could serve Etsy’s payment processors with a notice that would require them to suspend Etsy’s service within 5 days. That means that a trademark violation in one of the storefronts could lead to payment suspension across the entire site.



Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:31:13
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking



Mala I am so sorry

Comment by BobR on 01/18/2012 14:34:58
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?


Comment by BobR on 01/18/2012 14:35:47
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking

oh no! - I'm really sorry....

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 14:35:57
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking



Mala I am so sorry



Thanks, at this point I don't know whether to be mad or sad. Just wish I'd been able to get to know him. He hasn't really been in my life since I was about 7, some occasional emails over the last 10 or so years, and 1 meeting in those 10 years. Told my mom she can't die now cause I don't want to be an orphan

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:38:04
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?



Yup!

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 14:39:28
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?



Yup!



I heard on TOP that if you use Foxfire or Monzilla(?) if you disable the Java you can use the Wiki as normal

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:42:27
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?



Yup!


What I searched was SOPA.

Comment by BobR on 01/18/2012 14:48:03
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?


Yup!


What I searched was SOPA.

ah - interesting. Try searching for anything else

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:51:33
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?


Yup!


What I searched was SOPA.

ah - interesting. Try searching for anything else


I just did. I see how they have set it up. The landing page isn't dark, when you search then you get the page about the blackout. Very snazzy.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:52:31
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by BobR:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Speaking of this, when I go to Wikipedia here at work, I can get to it just fine

Have you done a search on Wikipedia?



Yup!



I heard on TOP that if you use Foxfire or Monzilla(?) if you disable the Java you can use the Wiki as normal



Yeah I heard that you can circumvent the blackout as well. Scoop??? Lil help here

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 14:54:08
The contact info that Wikipedia provided for my Congresscritter is wrong. my Critter is Ander Crenshaw, not Corrine Brown.

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 15:04:07
Alternet is blacked out today as well.

Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2012 15:09:27
Morning, comrades!

Most of you know that I go int to the nest of vipers every week (East Coast Conservative Podcast, Sunday nights at 8:30 - they bite, but they've had their shots.)

About 3 weeks ago, the entire show was dedicated to SOPA. I called in, and we all agreed that this was a bad thing. As I stated again last week, when we're all on the same side of an issue, then you know something is horribly wrong.



Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 15:09:54
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking


Oh, Mala. I'm so sorry.


Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 15:14:23
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades!

Most of you know that I go int to the nest of vipers every week (East Coast Conservative Podcast, Sunday nights at 8:30 - they bite, but they've had their shots.)

About 3 weeks ago, the entire show was dedicated to SOPA. I called in, and we all agreed that this was a bad thing. As I stated again last week, when we're all on the same side of an issue, then you know something is horribly wrong.




This is what happens when you let people who don't have a clue about technology write bills. Seriously.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:16:06
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
Morning

So, ya, nothing really sucks more then find out your dad passed away in a PM over FB, but I know my brother had no other way to contact me. So far Wednesday is sucking


Oh, Mala. I'm so sorry.



Thanks

It's killing me to see people saying how much dad loved his family on my brother's FB when all I want to say - ya, he loved them so much he forgot about at least 1 member of it. But that's not fair to people who had nothing to do with it.

yes, I have dad issues

Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2012 15:17:41
Quote by Mondobubba:



This is what happens when you let people who don't have a clue about technology write bills. Seriously.


I am rather proud that my Congressman (Ed Markey, D-MA) has been leading the charge for internet neutrality for years; you could look it up.



Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:20:30
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades!

Most of you know that I go int to the nest of vipers every week (East Coast Conservative Podcast, Sunday nights at 8:30 - they bite, but they've had their shots.)

About 3 weeks ago, the entire show was dedicated to SOPA. I called in, and we all agreed that this was a bad thing. As I stated again last week, when we're all on the same side of an issue, then you know something is horribly wrong.




This is what happens when you let people who don't have a clue about technology write bills. Seriously.



I have to wonder if those that write the bills even play the "what if" game to try and see more sides of the issue then their own. Then I wonder if they even care about any side but their own

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 15:21:56
Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:24:37
Quote by Raine:
DU is down too.



so it Raw Story

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 15:24:52
Quote by wickedpam:
It's killing me to see people saying how much dad loved his family on my brother's FB when all I want to say - ya, he loved them so much he forgot about at least 1 member of it. But that's not fair to people who had nothing to do with it.

yes, I have dad issues
You have every right to what you call issues. I don't think these are issues at all. I think you have every right to feel this way.

What I find sad is that you -- being who you are -- are having to stuff your feeling out of fairness. This is the part that really sucks.




Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 15:26:53
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades!

Most of you know that I go int to the nest of vipers every week (East Coast Conservative Podcast, Sunday nights at 8:30 - they bite, but they've had their shots.)

About 3 weeks ago, the entire show was dedicated to SOPA. I called in, and we all agreed that this was a bad thing. As I stated again last week, when we're all on the same side of an issue, then you know something is horribly wrong.




This is what happens when you let people who don't have a clue about technology write bills. Seriously.



I have to wonder if those that write the bills even play the "what if" game to try and see more sides of the issue then their own. Then I wonder if they even care about any side but their own



I would hazard a guess that the bill wasn't even written by and Congressional staff, I bet it was written by lobbiests for the entertainment industry, who are breath takingly clueless about technology. They have been for years. TV and movie production companies were against VCRs for gosh sakes.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:33:47
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
It's killing me to see people saying how much dad loved his family on my brother's FB when all I want to say - ya, he loved them so much he forgot about at least 1 member of it. But that's not fair to people who had nothing to do with it.

yes, I have dad issues
You have every right to what you call issues. I don't think these are issues at all. I think you have every right to feel this way.

What I find sad is that you -- being who you are -- are having to stuff your feeling out of fairness. This is the part that really sucks.





Jason wasn't even born when my parent's divorced and his step brother's are pretty much in the same boat as I am with their own parents - I just can't see the point of lashing out to hurt them, none of it was their's or my fault. I don't want to loose contact with Jason in the long run (I don't know the step brothers).

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:39:18
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by wickedpam:
Quote by Mondobubba:
Quote by TriSec:
Morning, comrades!

Most of you know that I go int to the nest of vipers every week (East Coast Conservative Podcast, Sunday nights at 8:30 - they bite, but they've had their shots.)

About 3 weeks ago, the entire show was dedicated to SOPA. I called in, and we all agreed that this was a bad thing. As I stated again last week, when we're all on the same side of an issue, then you know something is horribly wrong.




This is what happens when you let people who don't have a clue about technology write bills. Seriously.



I have to wonder if those that write the bills even play the "what if" game to try and see more sides of the issue then their own. Then I wonder if they even care about any side but their own



I would hazard a guess that the bill wasn't even written by and Congressional staff, I bet it was written by lobbiests for the entertainment industry, who are breath takingly clueless about technology. They have been for years. TV and movie production companies were against VCRs for gosh sakes.



They still don't like DVR's cause you can blow past ads

Comment by velveeta jones on 01/18/2012 15:44:33
I'm at work just checking in. Mala I am so sorry for your loss . I wish I could be up there to help out in some way. <3

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:46:41
Quote by velveeta jones:
I'm at work just checking in. Mala I am so sorry for your loss . I wish I could be up there to help out in some way. <3



THanks Vel

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 15:53:55
Well, Frank Wolf - my congress critter has posted on FB that he opposes SOPA in its current form.

Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2012 15:55:41
*non-sequitir*

Mr. Gingrich about President Obama "putting more people on food stamps than any other President".

Those of us that needed them say "Yes, and thank God for that."

BTW, isn't The SNAP program administered at the State level anyway? So all 50 governors had a hand in this.


Comment by BobR on 01/18/2012 15:57:16
Quote by wickedpam:
Well, Frank Wolf - my congress critter has posted on FB that he opposes SOPA in its current form.

ours too.

Comment by BobR on 01/18/2012 15:57:47
Quote by TriSec:
*non-sequitir*

Mr. Gingrich about President Obama "putting more people on food stamps than any other President".

Those of us that needed them say "Yes, and thank God for that."

BTW, isn't The SNAP program administered at the State level anyway? So all 50 governors had a hand in this.

The Republicans created the conditions that required people to be on food stamps.

Comment by trojanrabbit on 01/18/2012 16:11:07
My condolences Mala.


Fark.com is coming out in favor of SOPA/PIPA!

...sorta....

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 16:12:42
Quote by trojanrabbit:
My condolences Mala.


Fark.com is coming out in favor of SOPA/PIPA!

...sorta....



Thanks Rabbit

Comment by Mondobubba on 01/18/2012 16:14:24
Quote by TriSec:
*non-sequitir*

Mr. Gingrich about President Obama "putting more people on food stamps than any other President".

Those of us that needed them say "Yes, and thank God for that."

BTW, isn't The SNAP program administered at the State level anyway? So all 50 governors had a hand in this.



Nice way to wave the Bloody Shirt there, Newt.
Yes I think you are right about the way SNAP is administed. The states get block grants for the program and they set up rules on that level.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:23:38
Here's another really great explanation of the SOPA PIPA issue. It might get our friends who think it doesn't matter to them to pay attention.

WRT to something Bob mentioned in the blog, this I found very interesting:
What's saddest about SOPA is that it's pointless on two fronts. In the US, the MPAA, and RIAA already have the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to request that infringing material be taken down. We've all seen enough "video removed" messages to know that it works just fine.

As for the foreign operators, you might as well be throwing darts at a tse-tse fly. The poster child of overseas torrenting, Pirate Bay, has made it perfectly clear that they're not frightened in the least. And why should they be? Its proprietors have successfully evaded any technological attempt to shut them down so far. Its advertising partners aren't US-based, so they can't be choked out. But more important than Pirate Bay itself is the idea of Pirate Bay, and the hundreds or thousands of sites like it, as populous and resilient as mushrooms in a marsh. Forget the question of should SOPA succeed. It's incredibly unlikely that it could. At least at its stated goals.



Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:30:54
Quote by trojanrabbit:

Fark.com is coming out in favor of SOPA/PIPA!

...sorta....



Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 16:40:11
speaking of voter id - they are supposed to be introducing photo id in the VA legislature soon, if not already. And since it was only the Dems that stopped it from going through last year it will most suredily go through this year. Its just stupid - we already have voter id in VA, its called a Voter Registration Card.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:43:02
Quote by wickedpam:
speaking of voter id - they are supposed to be introducing photo id in the VA legislature soon, if not already. And since it was only the Dems that stopped it from going through last year it will most suredily go through this year. Its just stupid - we already have voter id in VA, its called a Voter Registration Card.

http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/image/sub4/not_this_shit_again.jpg


Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2012 16:45:01
Good morning everyone. I think there was even a debate over whether facebook or Twitter should shut down today as well. I guess I could use a day off from the internet and spend more time catching up on my DVR recordings.

Mala, sorry about your dad. Speaking as someone who is an orphan for 16 years since my mom died.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:45:08
In other news, Virginia GOP scraps plans for the "Loyalty Oath" for primaries.

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 16:46:10
Quote by Raine:
Quote by wickedpam:
speaking of voter id - they are supposed to be introducing photo id in the VA legislature soon, if not already. And since it was only the Dems that stopped it from going through last year it will most suredily go through this year. Its just stupid - we already have voter id in VA, its called a Voter Registration Card.

http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/image/sub4/not_this_shit_again.jpg



yep - VA Dems on FB posted this Voter Id Bill moves forward in VA House

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 16:46:49
Quote by livingonli:
Good morning everyone. I think there was even a debate over whether facebook or Twitter should shut down today as well. I guess I could use a day off from the internet and spend more time catching up on my DVR recordings.

Mala, sorry about your dad. Speaking as someone who is an orphan for 16 years since my mom died.


Liv Thanks


Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:50:24
What?

Can it be true? Obama said to be rejecting Keystone this afternoon!

Comment by wickedpam on 01/18/2012 16:50:27
Quote by Raine:
In other news, Virginia GOP scraps plans for the "Loyalty Oath" for primaries.


that's good - I know a lady who was going to work the primary until they wanted that dumb oath - she wasn't going to sign one just to help them out on that day


Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 16:54:43
Quote by Raine:
What?

Can it be true? Obama said to be rejecting Keystone this afternoon!

Reportedly it will be via the State department. That is interesting because by many accounts -- the State Department (actually -- Ms. Clinton) was supposedly in support of it.

Comment by Raine on 01/18/2012 17:03:50
Oh. How will Mitt Rmoney explain this one?

He profited off of Abortion --

Stericycle, a massive medical waste disposal service company, received a $75 million investment from Bain Capital in 1999 and soon became an industry leader. Today, it has more than 485,000 customers worldwide. Its clients include hospitals, blood banks, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. But it has also helped dispose of medical waste from Planned Parenthood and abortion clinics -- waste that included aborted fetuses -- and that has attracted the ire of the pro-life community and establishment Republicans.

Romney's relationship to the company, which was flagged by the Democratic opposition research group American Bridge and further examined through an independent review of documents, is tangential. By the time Bain Capital had made the investment in Stericycle, he had left the firm to run the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He maintained ownership in Bain and kept holdings in its private equity funds, which included Stericycle stock, but he had no say in the managerial or strategic decisions at the firm, according to Bain officials.


Comment by TriSec on 01/18/2012 17:06:43
Quote by Raine:
In other news, Virginia GOP scraps plans for the "Loyalty Oath" for primaries.


"I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to < Nominee>, the Candidate of the Grand Old Party, supreme commander of the party faithful, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave voter, to give my life for this oath."




Comment by livingonli on 01/18/2012 17:17:19
I put Thom Hartmann on Free Speech TV and he is indeed doing his show by candlelight and you just see him and the candles on the set.